Dissertation of the Year Award


The Society for Community Research and Action grants an annual dissertation award to the best dissertation identified on a topic in the field of community psychology completed during the prior two years. The Dissertation Award was established in 1982.

Past Award Recipients

2016       Kate Dorozenko


"The Identities and Social Roles of People with Intellectual Disabilities: Challenging Dominant Cultural Worldviews, Values and Mythologies"

2015       Ashley Anglin


"Collaborative Identification of Assets in South Rome, Georgia  Using the Community Capitals Framework: Exploring Influential Factors and Discovering Community Strengths"

2014       Susan Eckerle Curwood

               Advisor: Robb Travers 

"The 'Warrant of Common Sense':  Ideology and Poverty in Canada and the United States "

2013      Urmitapa Dutta 

            Advisor: Mark Aber

 “The Long Way Home: A Critical Ethnography of Youth and Conflict in Northeast India”

2012      Sarah Lowe, University of Massachusetts at Boston

             Advisor: Jean Rhodes

“Trajectories of Psychological Distress Among Low-income Female Survivors of Hurricane Katrina”

2011      Steven James Pierce, Michigan State University


“Using Geostatic Models to Study Neighborhood Effects: An Alternative to Using Hierarchical Linear Models”

2010      Jennifer Watling Neal, University of Illinois at Chicago

            Advisor: Karina Olga Reyes

“Examining Relations in Relational Aggression: The Role of Peer Social Networks”

2009      Darcy Freedman, Vanderbilt University

             Advisor: Paul Speer

 “Politics of Food Access in Food Insecure Communities”

2008      Sarah Chilenski, Pennsylvania State University

            Advisor: Mark Greenberg

“Community Risks and Resources in Rural America: What matters?”

2007      Branda Nowell, Michigan State University

            Advisor: Pennie Foster-Fishman

“The Role of Social Capital in Interorganizational Alliances”

2006      Adam Long, Vanderbilt University

            Advisor: William P. Smith, Douglas Perkins, Peggy Thoits

“Residential Community Identification and Psychological Well-Being”

2005      Marci R. Cully, University of Missouri-Kansas City

 Advisor: Joseph Hughey

“Power and ‘Official’ Vehicles for Public Participation in a Local Hazardous Waste Setting: A Community Case Study”

2004      No award given

2003      Margaret Davis, DePaul University

            Advisor: Leonard Jason

“Sex Differences in Alcoholics and Addicts Recovering in Oxford House: Exploring Characteristics,

Social Support, and Self-Efficacy.”              

2002      Nicole Allen, Michigan State University

             Advisor: Pennie Foster-Fishman

“Coordinating Councils as a Vehicle for Achieving a Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence: An Examination of Context-Specific Correlates of Effectiveness.”

2001      Camille Preston, University of Virginia

             Advisor: Dick Reppucci

“Policing domestic violence: The Influence of Community Resources on Provider Attitudes About Pro-arrest Policies.” 

2000      Bret Kloos, University of Illinois, Urbana Champagne

            Advisor: Julian Rappaport

“Cultivating Identity and Meaning Making in the Context of Residential Treatment Settings for Persons with Histories of Psychological Disorders.”

1999      Hirokazu Yoshikawa, New York University

            Advisor: Ed Seidman

“Welfare Dynamics, Support Services, Mothers’ Earnings, and Child Development: Implications for Contemporary Welfare Reform.”

1998      Michael J. Solomon, University College London

            Advisor: Nancy Pistrang

 “What do Parents of Children with Disabilities and Special Needs Find Helpful about Mutual Support Groups?”

1997      Rebecca Campbell, Michigan State University

            Advisor: William Davidson

 “The Community Response to Rape: An Ecological Conception of Victims’ Experiences”

1996      Danielle Papineau, Universite de Montreal, Canada

            Advisor: Margaret Kiely

“Citizen Empowerment Through Economic Development in a Multiethnic Neighborhood”

1995      Gabriel P. Kuperminc, University of Virginia

            Advisor: Joseph Allen

“Social Orientation, Social Competence and the Prevention of Adolescent Problem Behavior”

1994      Susan Yeich, Michigan State University

            Advisor: Ralph Levine

“Empowerment and Structural Change: The Creation of a Homeless Persons Union”

             Caroline Kroeker, Claremont Graduate School

             Advisor: Alan Wicker

“Empowerment Programs for the Severely Disadvantaged: Lessons From a Process Evaluation of a Nicarguan Agricultural Cooperative”

1993      Krys Kaniasty, University of Louisville

             Advisors: James Driscoll & Fran Norris

 “Social Support as a Mediator of Stress Following a Natural Disaster: A Test of Social Support Deterioration Model Using Measures of Kin Support, Nonkin Support, and Social Embeddedness.”

              Paul Speer, University of Missouri, Kansas City

              Advisor: Joseph Hughey

“Empowerment in Pressure Group Community Organizations: Internal Processes

1992      Jerome Short, Arizona State University

             Advisor: Irwin Sandler

“An Evaluation of a Preventative Intervention for Children of Problem Drinkers”

             Terrie Sterling, Georgia State University

              Advisor: James Emshoff

 “Modeling Community Mobilization for Social Change: Preventing Youth Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse.”

 1991     Douglas Perkins, New York University

            Advisor: Marybeth Shinn

 “The Social and Physical Environment of Residential Blocks, Crime, and Citizens’ Participation in Block Associations.”

            Dennis Culhane, Boston College

            Advisor: Ramsey Liem

 “On Becoming Homeless: The Structural and Experiential Dynamics of Residential Instability.”

1990      William K. Hallman, University of South Carolina

             Advisor: Abe Wandersman

 “Coping with an Environmental Stressor: Perception of Risk, Attribution of Responsibility and Psychological Distress in a Community Living Near a Hazardous Waste Facility”           

1989      John E. Prestby, University of South Carolina

            Advisor: Abe Wandersman

 “Leaders and Leadership in Grassroots Voluntary Organizations: An Examination of Personal Resources, Participation Benefits/costs, and Incentive/cost management”

1988      No award given

1987      Joseph P. Allen, Yale University

            Advisor: Seymour B. Sarason

“Adolescent Behavior Problems and Differing Patterns of Social Adaptation: The Role of Social

Contingency Beliefs” 

1986      Richard Gist, University of Missouri, Kansas City

            Advisor: Joseph Hughey

“An Analysis and Social Learning Examination of Recent Trends in Adolescent Suicide Rates”

1985      Richard C. Birkel, University of Virginia

            Advisor: Robert Emery

 “Sources of Caregiver Strain on Long-term Home-care”

1984      Kenneth Bachrach, Arizona State University

            Advisor: Alex Zautra

“Coping with a Community Stressor: A Proposed Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility”

1983      Donald Davis, Michigan State University

            Advisor: William Davidson

“Innovation, Adaptation, and Organizational Change-Program Evaluation in Gerontology- G. Johnson”

1982      Charles H. Kieffer, University of Michigan

            Advisor: Richard Price

“The Emergence of Empowerment: The Development of Participatory Competence Among Individuals in Citizen Organizations”